When I chose Bethany College to pursue my education, I picked it because it was a small school, with small class sizes, plenty of faculty, and an excellent study abroad program. What I didn't quite realize was that the town of Bethany, West Virginia consisted of about one hundred people when one doesn't count the students. Half the town consists of the faculty, and it's five miles to the nearest fast food joint or grocery store. Sure, there is a general store, but they overcharge because they know some students don't have cars. Like me.
Oh, there's also a bar, called "Bubba's." It makes all the hillbilly jokes sound true, doesn't it? But the only reason that Bubba's survives in such a small town is that it serves alcohol to anyone who can reach the bar--literally.
Now, take this past weekend for an example of why living in the middle of nowhere can be bad: impassible roads and snow, no electricity, heat, hot water, and the nearest AT&T tower was damaged, leaving many without use of their phones.
My friends complained that they could text, access the internet, or watch movies. Inwardly, I was extremely annoyed at this. Every year people die in snowstorms or because of them.
Our school had no power (like much of the area) and thus no heat. For a while, I was legitimately scared, especially if the temperature kept dropping like it did. Many, like myself, cocooned themselves in blankets and refused to come out. We gathered in herds and went to the general store to buy non-microwaveable foods (the stoves we have in our dorms are electric, too) which came down to canned fruit, crackers, cereal, and junk food. I had a can of peaches for dinner and read a book by flashlight, before going to bed early.
Perhaps it's a shame that none of us remember a time without electricity, a time when sunset meant it was almost time for bed. Perhaps it shows just how dependent we are on electricity and electrical devices. I didn't miss my phone, except when I had to call and let my parents know that I was alive. I didn't miss my computer, though around me I could almost hear gasps or sighs because that person could not access their Facebook or Twitter.
When the power came back on after thirty-six hours without, the first thing anyone did was to reconnect to the internet or pull out the Wii. Sure, I enjoyed being able to make hot cocoa and oatmeal again, as well as the heat (ESPECIALLY the heat!) but I was fine with my candles and flashlight, my books and my journal.
I think we should be thankful that we didn't run out of water, or run into further problems.
Now that the power is back up, and classes have been canceled, we are still snowed in. My peers are bitching about being bored with nothing to do. My response was, "But the library was open today!" I think that they didn't appreciate how dire the situation could have become--very easily, in fact. I think my peers don't appreciate a lot of things. And when all is said and done, the snow IS beautiful. When it's not in blizzard form and spitting at you.
Here are some photos I took of my beautiful college in this wintry weather. Enjoy!